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- Sociological Perspectives
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- National Science Foundation
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Introduction Social media has created opportunities for children to gather social support online (Blackwell et al., 2016; Gonzales, 2017; Jackson, Bailey, & Foucault Welles, 2018; Khasawneh, Rogers, Bertrand, Madathil, & Gramopadhye, 2019; Ponathil, Agnisarman, Khasawneh, Narasimha, & Madathil, 2017). However, social media also has the potential to expose children and adolescents to undesirable behaviors. Research showed that social media can be used to harass, discriminate (Fritz & Gonzales, 2018), dox (Wood, Rose, & Thompson, 2018), and socially disenfranchise children (Page, Wisniewski, Knijnenburg, & Namara, 2018). Other research proposes that social media use might be correlated to the significant increase in suicide rates and depressive symptoms among children and adolescents in the past ten years (Mitchell, Wells, Priebe, & Ybarra, 2014). Evidence based research suggests that suicidal and unwanted behaviors can be promulgated through social contagion effects, which model, normalize, and reinforce self-harming behavior (Hilton, 2017). These harmful behaviors and social contagion effects may occur more frequently through repetitive exposure and modelling via social media, especially when such content goes “viral” (Hilton, 2017). One example of viral self-harming behavior that has generated significant media attention is the Blue Whale Challenge (BWC). The hearsay about this challenge is that individuals at allmore »
Teens’ Social Media Engagement during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Time Series Examination of Posting and Emotion on RedditResearch has rarely examined how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect teens’ social media engagement and psychological wellbeing, and even less research has compared the difference between teens with and without mental health concerns. We collected and analyzed weekly data from January to December 2020 from teens in four Reddit communities (subreddits), including teens in r/Teenagers and teens who participated in three mental health subreddits (r/Depression, r/Anxiety, and r/SuicideWatch). The results showed that teens’ weekly subreddit participation, posting/commenting frequency, and emotion expression were related to significant pandemic events. Teen Redditors on r/Teenagers had a higher posting/commenting frequency but lower negative emotion than teen Redditors on the three mental health subreddits. When comparing posts/comments on r/Teenagers, teens who ever visited one of the three mental health subreddits posted/commented twice as frequently as teens who did not, but their emotion expression was similar. The results from the Interrupted Time Series Analysis (ITSA) indicated that both teens with and without mental health concerns reversed the trend in posting frequency and negative emotion from declining to increasing right after the pandemic outbreak, and teens with mental health concerns had a more rapidly increasing trend in posting/commenting. The findings suggest that teens’ social media engagement andmore »
The roles of life stress and preventive health behaviors on parent mental health during the COVID-19 pandemicThe COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted millions of lives, with life stress and daily hassles having a potential impact on parent mental health. This study examined whether preventive health behaviors (e.g. social distancing, mask wearing) and social support relate to parent mental health. In a cross-sectional analysis of parents ( N = 176, May–September 2020), life events and daily hassles were positively associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms. Preventive health behaviors moderated the association between daily hassles and depressive symptoms. Preventive health behaviors may protect those with high levels of daily hassles from moderate levels of depression.
Social distancing remains an effective nonpharmaceutical behavioral interventions to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne diseases, but monitoring and enforcement create nontrivial challenges. Several jurisdictions have turned to “311” resident complaint platforms to engage the public in reporting social distancing non-compliance, but differences in sensitivity to social distancing behaviors can lead to a mis-allocation of resources and increased health risks for vulnerable communities. Using hourly visit data to designated establishments and more than 71,000 social distancing complaints in New York City during the first wave of the pandemic, we develop a method, derived from the Weber-Fechner law, to quantify neighborhood sensitivity and assess how tolerance to social distancing infractions and complaint reporting behaviors vary with neighborhood characteristics. We find that sensitivity to non-compliance is lower in minority and low-income neighborhoods, as well as in lower density areas, resulting in fewer reported complaints than expected given measured levels of overcrowding.
Social capital dimensions are differentially associated with COVID-19 vaccinations, masks, and physical distancingPatel, Sanjay Kumar (Ed.)Background Social capital has been associated with health outcomes in communities and can explain variations in different geographic localities. Social capital has also been associated with behaviors that promote better health and reduce the impacts of diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, face masking, and vaccination have all been essential in controlling contagion. These behaviors have not been uniformly adopted by communities in the United States. Using different facets of social capital to explain the differences in public behaviors among communities during pandemics is lacking. Objective This study examines the relationship among public health behavior—vaccination, face masking, and physical distancing—during COVID-19 pandemic and social capital indices in counties in the United States. Methods We used publicly available vaccination data as of June 2021, face masking data in July 2020, and mobility data from mobile phones movements from the end of March 2020. Then, correlation analysis was conducted with county-level social capital index and its subindices (family unity, community health, institutional health, and collective efficacy) that were obtained from the Social Capital Project by the United States Senate. Results We found the social capital index and its subindices differentially correlate with different public health behaviors. Vaccination is associated with institutionalmore »